Below are two concepts of liberty, one from one of our Puritan founders, and the other a motto from our sixites enlightenment. The first is by John Winthrop;
“There is a twofold liberty, natural (I mean as our nature is now corrupt) and civil or federal. The first is held in common by man with the beasts and other creatures. By this, man, as he stands in relation to other men, has liberty to do what he wants; it is a liberty to do evil or good. This liberty is incompatible with and inconsistent with authority and cannot endure the least restraint of the most just authority. The exercise and maintenance of this liberty makes men grow more evil, and in time to be worse than brute beasts…This is that great enemy of truth and peace…which all the ordinances of God are bent against, to restrain and subdue it.
The other kind of liberty, the kind I call civil or federal, may also be termed moral, in reference to the covenant between God and man, in the moral law, and in the public covenants and constitutions among men. This liberty is the proper purpose and object of authority, and cannot subsist without it, and is a liberty to do that which is good, just and honest. This liberty you are to stand by, and be willing to hazard for not only your goods, but your lives, if need be. Whatever crosses this is not Authority, but a distemper of it. This liberty is maintained and exercised by way of submission to authority, and it is the same kind of liberty where with Christ has made us free.” Winthrop, John, in Cotton Mather’s Magnalia Christi American, vol. II, p. 13
The second, the ruling philosophy of modern enlightened America;
“If it feels. good, do it!”
Don’t let the blathering academic fool you, that is right where we are at. The newpapers were headlined with the “God is Dead’ line and all hedonism broke out. Since then they have contrived dozens of nuanced reasons to support the shift we made as a society. Slight difference between the two. One philosphy created the most successful and safest society on earth. The other tore it down.
Have a great day